The Ghost of Television Past

The Ghost of Television Past


Hambone, hambone where you been?

Round the world and I’m going again.


While sitting in my office one day in 1978, I was told that I had an unscheduled patient who was quite ill and needed immediate attention. When the nurse handed me the chart and I saw the name Sandy Becker on the top, it did not immediately register in my thinking that this could actually be the genuine article himself.

But it was, and soon enough, sitting across from my desk in the consultation room was one of my favorite childhood T.V. comedy heroes. At least this time however, and unlike the Roy Rogers episode, I was able to carry on a normal conversation with him.

After establishing the diagnosis of pneumonia, I wrote out a prescription for appropriate antibiotics and at the end of the encounter told him how much he had meant to me as a child as well how much I had enjoyed his entertaining show.

Unfortunately he was suffering from a high fever, partial dehydration, and a hacking cough that did not lend itself to jocularity, so I respectfully resisted the temptation to stick my hands in my ears, waggle my tongue, then bounce back and forth in my seat while singing the Hambone Song.

I am sure he appreciated the prescription I wrote significantly more than an amateur recapitulation of one the famous characters he had created to entertain America’s children.

Sandy Becker


Your glasses will fall…if your nose is too small

(Sandy Becker as Hambone)

Photo Source:   www.tvparty/spotpix16/hambone3.gif


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